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Danna StaafRSS Feed of this column.

Cephalopods have been rocking my world since I was in grade school. I pursued them through a BA in marine biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, followed by a PhD dissertation at... Read More »

Alternative alliterative title: Long-tailed Light-up Loliginids!

I've mentioned the two flavors of squid before: the open-ocean oegopsids and the nearshore myopsids. Most myopsids are in the family Loliginidae, which contains all your familiar calamari squid, market squid, and so on. Loliginids are traditional, uncomplicated, straightforward squid. They always look like squid--unlike oegopsids, which sometimes look like jellyfish or manta rays or piglets.
Extra-glowy squid lures are the new hotness, according to the UK's Western Morning News:
Virtually all squid jigs [fishing lures] have luminescent sections, but now available in the South West are jigs made by Japanese companies like Yo-Zuri, where intense luminescence covers the entire upper half of the jig. It may be bad news for squid . . .
Why exactly would it be bad news for the squid? Well, lights are used around the world to summon squid to their death, from glow-in-the-dark jigs to high-wattage surface lights.
New robot alert! New robot alert! It's an adorable cross between Gumby and a starfish. Go watch the video right now.

Now, none of the authors of the paper are marine biologists, so I can't expect them to know that this description:
Amir K. just wants to be prepared:
Assuming this is a 6 foot 100 lbs humboldt squid, it goes red, all of its arms point together and it's about to shoot straight at you with it's 2 long feeding arms. What do you do if you are in the water? What is the best way of repelling an attack or destroying it? What are it's weaknesses?
Oh Amir! The first two "its" were perfect. Why'd you have to go and ruin my good opinion of your grammar by adding apostrophes to your second two "its"? But you know what--I'll answer the question anyway.
"How big is the squid?" the fifth-graders demanded when I showed up in their classroom with a cooler on Monday.

"Humboldt squid can get up to five feet long--about as big as me," I told them. "But this one is small. It's only a couple of feet."

Fortunately, they weren't disappointed. A two-foot squid was quite exciting enough to keep the class going for two hours, pummeling me with questions as we carefully observed the outside and then the inside of the squid. The visit was part of the outreach program Squids4Kids, and the squid had been donated by sport fishermen just couple of months ago.
I really enjoy getting squid stories from around the world in my daily google news alert. Keeps me from getting too obsessed with the Humboldt and market squid of California. Here's the latest: ICAR scientists detect deep sea squids in Arabian Sea.

ICAR is the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, whose mandate has no doubt been expanded to include fisheries since it was named. And just who is "this largely unexploited deep sea squid which inhabits at depths ranging between 1,000 and 4,000 meters"? The article doesn't specify, but I would lay odds on Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis.